WHAT'S IN PRE-ELECTION BUDGET FOR SENIORS? IT SPENDS BIG ON INFRASTRUCTURE WHILE RUNNING DEFICITS

Apr 28, 2022

By Christine Ross

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The Ford government budget includes just under $200 billion in spending, most of it earmarked for infrastructure this year and over the next decade that will go toward highways, transit and hospitals.

There’s tax relief for lower income workers and families who stand to save an additional $300-dollars-this year on average as a result of changes to the Low-Income Individuals and Families Tax Credit.

There’s a new personal income tax credit to help offset the cost of some medical expenses for seniors.

Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy repeated a recent announcement that the Conservatives would spend a further 1.5-billion on home care.

There’s more for seniors.

“We’re proposing a new Ontario Seniors Care home tax credit to help seniors and their families with home care medical expenses which include attendant care, reading devices and hearing aids, walking aids and this tax credit will build on the seniors home safety tax credit which helps cover the cost for stair lifts, handrails, and other renovations to help make homes safe and accessible,” said Minister Bethlenfalvy.

What does the Zoomer Advocacy group CARP-A New Vision Of Aging think?

“That’s the one thing in the budget that we’re pleased and a step in the direction we’ve been calling for years and it means there’ll be a tax credit for people who have to pay for homecare and that’s a beginning to our call for a total elimination on all HST on homecare needs,”CARP’s Chief Policy Officer Bill Van Gorder.

The credit will refund up to 25% of eligible expenses up to $6,000 for a maximum credit of $1,500. The program would kick in this tax year and be available to those who turned 70 or older in the tax year, or have a spouse that age, and are Ontario residents at the end of the tax year.

The budget will not pass before the official election campaign begins next Wednesday. That’s why the finance minister says the people of Ontario will vote on it.

“Ontario’s budget is Premier Ford’s vision and our plan to cut through the excuses to act right away on the priorities or our plan and our province, this is our plan and we will get it done,” said Bethlenfalvy who the party’s campaign slogan “Get it Done” several times.

He refuses to say if the Tories would reintroduce the same blueprint if re-elected, prompting NDP Leader Andrea Horwath to warn voters about a Conservative return to power.

“Doug Ford is going to go back to cutting the minute this election is over if we give him the chance and people are telling me they want the services that have been broken for so long to finally get fixed,” said Horwath.

Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca says the budget does not address the priorities of Ontarians.

While the deficit was $13.5  billion in the last fiscal year, it’s expected to jump to nearly $20 billion this fiscal before climbing out of the red in 2027-2028.

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